The main responsibility of the immune system is to protect your body from diseases and pathogens including bacteria, viruses and parasites. The immune system also plays a part in the healing response to trauma and helps protect you against infection. Interestingly, the immune system does not always work alone.
How Does the Immune System Work with Other Systems?
The immune system works with a number of other systems in your body to help keep you healthy.
1. The Immune System and the Lymph System
The lymph system has thousands of lymph nodes that contain immune cells. The immune cells move through the lymph system, responding to pathogens. Your immune system depend on the lymph system to preform its functions and any problem with the lymph system can lower your immunity.
2. The Immune System and the Digestive System
Without a healthy digestive system, you cannot have a healthy immune system. The appendix and tonsils which belong to the digestive system help differentiate between pathogens and food. This is extremely important for the normal functioning of the immune system.
3. The Immune System and the Circulatory System
How does the immune system work with other systems such as the circulatory system? The circulatory system helps transport materials such as water, nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. It also helps take wastes out of your body cells. The circulatory system cannot complete its job properly in the absence of a strong immune system. On the other hand, the immune system needs a healthy circulatory system to help transport immune cells from one location to another.
4. The Immune System and the Nervous System
The main responsibility of the nervous system is to receive, send, and process nerve impulses throughout your body. Your nervous system is responsible for the activation of your immune system which in turn starts fighting against infections.
5. The Immune System and the Skeletal System
The skeletal system helps you move your body when your muscles contract. It is also important for the protection of your internal organs. The skeletal system produces blood cells that the immune system uses as a method of transportation. It also stores important minerals like calcium which can help the immune system fight against infections.
6. The Immune System and the Integumentary System
Comprised of skin cells in the body, the integumentary system works directly with your immune system to keep pathogens out of the body. Your skin is actually the first line of defense against illness-causing pathogens, and it works with your immune system to accomplish the task in an efficient way.
7. Other Systems
How does the immune system work with other systems? You already have the basic understanding, and you need to know that the immune system actually work with many other systems as well. For instance, the respiratory system and the endocrine system are also involved with immune function.
How to Boost Your Immunity
You can take several steps to boost your immune system and improve your overall health. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Maintain a Balanced Diet
What you eat will have an impact on your immune system. Several foods and nutrients actually help boost your immune system. Do as the following:
- Eat broccoli, citrus fruit, and other vitamin C-rich foods.
- Eat whole grains, nuts, and other vitamin E-rich foods.
- Eat more garlic.
- Include zinc-rich foods in your diet, such as turkey, beans, beef, and oysters.
- Eat fruits and veggies rich in bioflavonoids like red bell peppers and strawberries.
- Eat selenium-rich foods, such as whole grains, chicken, eggs, tuna, brown rice, etc.
- Include tuna, salmon, hempseed oil, and other omega-3 sources in your diet.
- Eat carotenoid-rich foods, such as yams and carrots.
At the same time, you should avoid bleached flours, and baked goods as much as possible.
2. Exercise Regularly
Maintaining an active lifestyle is important to keep your immune system working at its best. It also keeps you from becoming infected in the first place, and if you do become ill, it accelerates recovery.
You do not have to spend a lot of time in the gym to stay healthy. A 30-minute walk a few times a week will do the trick. Consider finding a walking buddy to stay motivated and enjoy your walks more. You can also find a hobby or get involved in a recreational sport if you do not like walking. Rock climbing, racquetball, roller skating, hiking, kayaking, and even bird watching are all some nice options.
3. Get Enough Sleep
You should give your body enough rest to recover from all the stress it goes through during the day. Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation can hit your immune system and weaken your natural defenses. Getting extra sleep may also help you recover from illness more quickly.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking can undermine your immune system. You should quit smoking and protect yourself from secondhand smoke as well. Encourage your friends and family members to quit because smoking is not only bad for them but is equally detrimental for your health, because you spend most of your time with them.
5. Limit Intake of Caffeine and Alcohol
It is better to stop drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages, but if you really want to drink, be sure to drink in moderation. Excessive consumption is always going to weaken your immune system. Be sure to drink plenty of water when you are into caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. This prevents dehydration and supports your immune system at the same time.
6. Manage Stress Better
How does the immune system work with other systems? Now you know the answer, and you must want to build a stronger immunity. Understand that stress is your immune system’s worst enemy. It is hard to avoid stress, but you can take steps to manage stress better. You can make things better by doing yoga or trying meditation. Limit your contact with people who have a negative outlook towards life. You can also seek therapeutic assistance to help deal with chronic stress.